08 October 2007

Five Principles of Religion

[Note: I started on this post two weeks ago, and just cleaned it up for today. So the last two paragraphs are likely to be inchoate and incoherent.]

I'd hoped to get up to 10 of these, and perhaps I will eventually, but five is a pretty decent start.

1. A religion cannot be understood in isolation. Like language, one cannot truly appreciate one's own religion without having substantial experience of another.

2. A religion that relies solely on faith is either aware that it has no evidential support or is terrified that this is so. The louder the railing against the evidence, the greater the fear.

3. Literal interpretation of a sacred text is an insult to both the text and the gods contained therein.

4. Warhawks follow a warlike god; doves follow a peaceful god. People create God in their own image, not the other way 'round.

5. Go deep enough into any religion and you will get to the same place.
..........Corollary: Rituals and dogmas are distractions designed to prevent people from realizing this.

A couple days back, I was looking up the etymology of religion, and found this amusing quote: "To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name." [Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885]

I would add that there are plenty of external differences, but that anyone who progresses far enough will start to see the underlying internal unity. Anyone still fixated on external things like labels and books has a long way to go. But the thing that amuses me about this quote is the implication that anyone who holds to any sort of unity between religions is an atheist. This makes George Bush an atheist! Which means he's not a citizen, according to his own words, and hence ineligible to be president. *looks pleased with herself*


John said...

It was Bush Senior who said that he didn't consider atheists to be US Citizens. [/pedantics]

do you think that Blogger will participate in the reCAPCHAS thing?

Qalmlea said...

No clue. I suppose it depens on whether there's any conflict of sponsorship and/or need to change the system.